(BOSTON, MA, 11/17/15) – The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MA) expressed outrage today at Governor Baker’s statement that he is “not interested in accepting refugees from Syria.”
After a string of devastating terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon, and Egypt attributed to ISIS over the past few weeks, Gov. Baker joined several other Governors in declaring that he will not agree to accept Syrian refugees who are fleeing the Assad regime and ISIS unless the federal government tells him “a lot more” about its plans for screening these individuals. He added that he would “set the bar really high” about the possibility of resettlement.
In a statement today, Dr. John Robbins, Executive Director of CAIR-MA, warned of the potential ramifications of such statements:
“We are extremely concerned about both the tone and the content of Governor Baker’s statement. While security concerns are obviously a priority, refugees coming in from Syria are already subject to some of the most intense entry screening in the world. Additionally, they are themselves overwhelmingly victims of terrorist violence at the hands of the Assad regime and ISIS. We must weigh security concerns in the balance with our humanitarian ideals and the very urgent need to assist those who have already suffered so much. Demonizing individuals who come here fleeing persecution in their homelands on the basis of guilt by association undermines the values on which our country was built.”
Robbins further cited the Migration Policy Institute’s statistic that the US has resettled 784,000 refugees in the fourteen years since September 11th, 2001, and of those only three have been arrested for planning terrorist activities – 0.000004%
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-Massachusetts Executive Director John Robbins, 617-862-9159, JRobbins@cair.com